Thank you for sharing your story, reading the responses has been illuminating. CG
This is a discussion on To forgive my father or not. within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by QKShooter Be the man that he never was. Make the phone call. you need to call him for your sake and not ...
Thank you for sharing your story, reading the responses has been illuminating. CG
Please forgive me but the only true way I know how to deal with forgiveness is from a biblical perspective. Not gonna bash you for your beliefs just want you to understand where I'm coming from.
Forgiveness is more than saying I'm sorry, it's forgetting. You have to forget the past in order to really forgive. Lay down the hurt and the mistakes and simply say you forgive him and wish him the best during his recovery.
If the conversation starts going to past hurts you won't accomplish anything. Change the subject and ask him about his current family, life, etc. Tell him about your daughter and funny/cute things she's done. Guide the conversation if there is much.
My dad wasn't great but he was good. He drank and worked away most of my young life. The last few years he became my best friend and I'd give anything to sit down and speak with him for an hour.
You have a chance few get. You have a chance to start fresh.
For a man interested only in passin' through, he suddenly found himself entangled in a deadly struggle….
ad utrumque paratus
Most all of the posters here are very well on-target with thier comments. Forgiveness is a powerful tool that each us must learn to use. It allows us to heal. The good part is that the person that did us harm never evens need know that we have forgiven them. That process is for us, not them.
Some things in life you just cannot forget. I remember the first time I drew my firearm to clear a room. The first time I pointed a firearm at another human because he would not show me his hands. There are just some things in life you cannot forget.
Unless your definition of forgetting is different than mine I don't see how it is possible to simply forget things in your life that are traumatic and will be forever burned into ones memory.
I have a very good memory and while I've been told things happened that I don't remember I can still pull up memories of my life when I was only 5 years old. So there is no way I'm going to forget.
I know how you feel, as my father was similar to yours. In my Dad's case, he was a great guy sober, but he was an alcoholic so it wasn't that often that he was sober. Drunk, he was an SOB. He would harass my mother when he was dunk, and made my life miserable. He died in 1970, when I was 18. but if he were here now, I would give him a chance. Don't know if this helps, but I hope that it does.
"We are the people our parents warned us about!" J. Buffett
Well after much personal debate tonight and still reading all your great comments which I really do appreciate. Again I never thought I would get the responses I have and after he is out of the hospital I will give him a call.
For all I know what happened to him might have changed his way of thinking as well. Deep down inside I still love him. If I didn't I don't think I would have posted the question. You people have given me a lot to think about and some great advice.
I don't want to carry the hate and pain all my life. I will never forget but maybe, just maybe I can let some of the burden go and that would be a nice feeling to have for myself. Last night after reading some of the early responses I cried for a good five minutes. Not sure why but I did. Maybe it was something I had to do.
I still welcome responses but I will give him a call once he is out of the hospital. I don't want to place any stress upon him at the moment as he needs to recover.
Don't make decisions and live today, based upon the past.
If everyone did that, think of all of those that would never have gotten married a 2nd time.
You're speaking of weighty things that have affected you and the other members of your family. Who am I to know what's best for you or yours, knowing nothing about you? I wouldn't presume to know what will work for you and yours.
That said, here are some general thoughts ...
Hatred is a tough one. While it's possibly hurting him, it is absolutely weighing down on you. If nothing else, speaking your mind simply and honestly to him might go a long way to helping unload some of the weight. He might or might not appreciate the honesty. He might or might not take it poorly. If he's nearing the end, he might even appreciate laying things on the table, if for no other reason than he recognizes there isn't much time.
You need not necessarily go in person, as that entails risk for both of you. You might consider writing a letter to him. If you can keep much of the raw emotion out of it, much can be said in a way that might close some of the old wounds.
There's no going back. Nobody can truly fix something so that it never occurred. History has happened, and there is no changing that. But whether we break our backs from the load history places upon us is something we can choose to do ... or stop doing. That part is up to us.
Even small steps in his direction might help you feel better, in time. It might not resolve anything between you, but it might help you feel better. Even if all that happens is that you got to finally get some things off your chest.
In this way, hate might be turned a bit. It might be reduced in intensity to simple dislike and disrespect for a person's prior actions.
Something to consider as well: time has changed. Many people change over time. If one thing is true, neither of you are exactly who you were decades ago. You're both different. You might now both have some capacity for acceptance, if not true forgiveness. Forgiveness isn't for everyone, nor for every situation, at least not to my way of thinking. And yet, moving in that direction can have many benefits, both to you and others in your family, including possibly even your father. Who can say. That's something you'll need to think about, what measure of change you're prepared to help along, and what price you are prepared to pay for that change.
As some others have suggested, this merry-go-'round is a one-shot deal. You don't come this way a second time. That thought might help you see your way to taking one or two steps. At minimum, you yourself have probably earned it, as you've carried a heavy and painful load for quite some time. At some point, you'll need to put it down, for your own good. Now might be the time to put at least part of that load down.
As some have said, forgiveness, even merely the path in that direction, is a tool that allows us to heal many things, including ourselves.
Good luck with whatever you decide. Keep in mind that possibly the greatest opportunity for improvement and forgiveness might well be inside of you. That's a reason for hope, right there.
While not knowing all the details of you and your dad's situation it's really hard to say. While not the same, when my grandma died I would not go to her funeral. She was a pretty evil women, and even when I was a little kid I would have nightmares about her. I personally don't think twice about it nor have any feelings of regret for not going. That being said, speak your mind to him if you think it will help you, but don't expect anything out of him in return. At the very least you can put the ball in his court, and let him decide as to what to do. At the end of your life is the time when you reflect on all the meaningful things that you have done in your life, so if there was ever a time he would feel any regret now would be that time.
Walk quietly and carry a big stick.
Blood is thicker than water.
I don't have time to be wasting on hate. Dislike, anger and even ignoring another person are all fair game in my book, but why should I let someone consume me so much that I hate them?Hatred is self serving and in the long run, it only hurts you.
My formative years were two sided. One side was the textbook "Leave It To Beaver" the other, a real Hell's Kitchen in my own home. Daddy's dead, I gave him CPR and as I age I find him to be my hero and my respect for him grows daily. Momma, as she ages, we grow more distant but I will still see to her needs, as Blood is thicker than water.
Call it duty, call it obligation or whatever you want to. I call it just being able to live with myself in a manner that upholds the man I'd like to become all the time in stead of some of the time. Don't let hate consume you, as it will do nothing to the one you hate and it's guaranteed to change you for the worse. No good can come of it.
Take care and stay safe.
If it is too difficult for you to approach him, send him a get well card & tell him you would like to talk to him & include your phone number.
Best of luck,
If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.
Im a big fan of the .22LR for bear defense.
Just shoot the guy next to you in the knee and run like heck.
Forgive him....it is for you more than him.......bitterness will KILL YOU...go to church, i promise no one there will force you into anything.
You may not like guns. You may choose not to own one. That is your right.
You might not believe in God. That is your choice.
However, if someone breaks into your home at 3AM the first two things you are going to do are:
1) Call someone with a gun.
2)Pray they get there in time." - A wise man
Having been estranged from my mother for 5 years, and having reconciled about a year before her death, I can tell you from first hand experience, if you have the opportunity, see him and try to reconcile. Regardless of his reaction and the outcome, you are far better off knowing you did everything you could than you would be living with the guilt of, "it might have been if I had only...." Forgiveness and reconciliation is a humbling experience, but is as much, and often more, for those who forgive as it is for the forgiving.
Thus endeth the sermon.
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"
You only have 1 mom and dad.
Be the bigger person...make the mend
end the end you'll feel better